A text-messaging service that helps prevent sex attacks, a system that helps rail commuters work on the train and a high-speed network linking up police stations are among the finalists in this year’s Techworld awards.

The judges chose eight projects for the shortlists of two awards: Public Sector Project of the Year and Private Sector Project of the Year. The four finalists in the public sector section were: the safer travel at night “Home” project, West Midlands Police for its network upgrade; Hampshire County Council for its Hantsnet project; the Royal Hospital, Belfast for its integrated Wi-Fi project.

The finalists in the private sector section were: the Southern Railway Wi-Fi on trains project; Reed Employment’s eXchange project; the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Group Enterprise Platform initiative and Workforce Employment’s hosted voice and data application project.

The judges, who are include IT managers from the public and private sector, consultants, members of industry bodies and the editor of Techworld, Maxwell Cooter, were impressed with the range of the entries.

“The entries reflected the ways in which both public and private sector organisations are using technology to enhance the way they operate, support their own users and interact with the public or their customers,” said Cooter.

“What was noticeable this year was that the best entries were not just about saving money but had used technology in a creative way providing a range of new facilities. In some cases, such as the safer travel project, there were the very real tangible benefits of preventing serious sexual assaults on women. In other cases, the public were offered a greater service by a public organisation or, in the case of Southern's Wi-Fi project, the chance to work on a train, allowing commuters to spend more time with their families.”

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner to be held at the Royal Courts of Justice on 28 June. Further details can be found here.